The collaboration between architect and building contractor


In high-end residential construction in the UK, the collaboration between architect and building contractor is the cornerstone for turning luxurious visions into tangible dwellings.

Galower Build is privileged to work with a number of respected architects based in London and the south east of England. The ease with which we collaborate is due to the mutual respect we have for each other, and the recognition of our respective skills and knowledge. We take time and trouble to build good relationships with architects and their clients, the home-owner.

This article explores the symbiotic relationship between architect and building contractor, shedding light on how our shared technical expertise, knowledge and skill combine to create some fabulous high-end residential properties.

The early design stage

Once the architect and their client have agreed on designs and drawings in principle, we work on buildability. It’s this fusion of the visionary with the pragmatic that brings luxury residential properties to life. Our projects can be modern new builds, authentic renovations or a seamless blend of the traditional with the contemporary. Collaboration at the early concept stage, leads to a harmonious integration of design with construction that will last throughout the project.

Buildability involves getting the design ‘ready for construction’. For example, reviewing components, materials and processes, and recommending alternatives to simplify or improve outcomes. This could mean reducing the volume of steel required or adjusting the schedule to accommodate extra phases in the build: a steep terrain maybe, poor accessibility, or anticipated drainage challenges in a basement. Liaising with the architect will lead to innovative solutions, ensuring the realisation of the client’s dream home.

Managing budgets and costs

Although we work at the high end of residential property build, we are still mindful of managing costs within a budget; it’s a responsibility we take seriously on every project. Working together with the architect and home-owner is vital to ensure we continue to balance costs throughout the project. Changes to the brief are inevitable – from price increase for raw materials to costs resulting from alterations to the design. Our expertise involves assessing costs, providing value engineering, and an acute understanding of the financial implications of design choices.

Material selection and sourcing

Material selection is always a defining factor in high-end building projects. It includes bespoke finishes and fixtures so our practical knowledge has to inform the architect’s vision. Our role in sourcing unusual, sometimes exotic materials, includes meeting stringent quality and durability standards. Sometimes the aesthetic of a brick might not be as good as anticipated. Knowing exactly the effect the architect is after, we’ll continue searching and working together to find a substitute that satisfies both our needs.

Construction technology and innovation

Technology is evolving all the time for both architects and building contractors. From advanced BIM applications to cutting-edge construction methods, collectively we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in high-end residential construction.